Home office or remote work?

A vital question for more and more companies: how to organise remote work (telework), what are the key regulations and consequences?

What is remote work?

We can talk about remote work or telework if the following 4 conditions are all met:

 1. The employee works in a place separate from the employer’s premises.
 2. This type of activity is regular.
 3. The work is done by IT devices.
 4. The results of the work are transmitted electronically.

Remote work and its place should be included in the employment contract as the place of work. Telework can not be ordered unilaterally.

Remote work can be complete or partial, when a few days per week or per month are spent away from the employer’s premises. However, it must be regular. If employer allows to work at home occasionally, it is not considered as remote work. For example, working from home during sick leave for a few days is not remote work.

Another important point is that telework is done by IT equipment, and the result is submitted electronically. It is not defined whose equipment should or can be used for this work.

What is home office?

If the employee works from home occasionally, or the work is not done by IT equipment, we can talk about home office. This is usually an option, maybe defined in the employment contract.

The employer can also order home office or working at home in special cases, such as the pandemic, but this is limited to 44 working days per year. Longer terms should be agreed with the employee.

What costs are related to remote work?

In the case of teleworking, the statutes also apply, according to which the employer is obliged to provide proper working conditions and to reimburse the employee’s legitimate costs. The costs can be reimbursed based on the actual invoices, although it is usually hard to define the additional costs of utilities compared to the normal conditions. However, there is an option of paying tax free cost reimbursement to employees in remote work up to 10 percent of the actual minimum monthly wage. It is a total amount for the whole month, and we have to consider days off and when the employee works in the premises of the employer.

The assets necessary for the remote work can be purchased by the employer, or if the employee buys them, the employer must reimburse it with proper invoice. These assets can be desk, chair and other related equipment.

Since the employees usually work at their home, the traditional travel costs can not occur. If the employee has to travel to the employer, it can be considered as business trip, not as commuting to work.

It is recommended to have a tailored remote work policy that covers all the above points. It can make everyday life much easier.

If you have further questions, feel free to contact us for consultation.

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